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Governor Patrick, North Bank Bridge, July 13, 2012 Governor Deval Patrick today celebrated the completion of the North Bank pedestrian bridge, connecting Paul Revere Park in Charlestown to Cambridge's North Point Park.

Funded through the Obama Administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the $26 million North Bank Bridge and North Point Park project will provide thousands of pedestrians with a safe, accessible and quick route between Cambridge and Charlestown.

“I am proud to celebrate the completion of the North Point Bridge which brings together our communities and encourages residents and visitors to make use of outdoor spaces,” said Governor Patrick. “As one of the first shovel ready projects awarded funding by the Obama Administration through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this bridge is an investment for generations to come.”

Northbank Ped Bridge, July 13, 2012In 1993, the Turnpike Authority agreed to allocate funds to the construction of the connecting bridges after the Central Artery/Tunnel Project was completed. After several years with no progress, the North Bank Bridge Project received federal stimulus ARRA funding in 2009 and construction began in 2010. Construction was completed in spring 2012.

The pedestrian bridge is open to biking and rollerblading, in addition to walking or running, giving the public greater access to the parks. Prior to the bridge’s construction, traveling on foot from North Point Park to Paul Revere Park would take roughly 25 minutes. The new bridge, reduces the time to less than five minutes.

The 690-foot bridge curves under the Zakim Bridge and over the MBTA railway.  The steelwork is metalized rather than painted to minimize maintenance. Energy-efficient LED light strips are installed in the bridge’s railings for aesthetics and public safety.

North Point Park completed two years ago is part of the New Charles River Basin, the “lost half mile” between the old Charles River Dam and the Charlestown Bridge. North Point includes a broad pedestrian path along the water’s edge and a tree-shaded bikeway along the land side of the park, and is the third park to be completed as part of the Big Dig mitigation efforts, which also included the restoration and expansion of Paul Revere Park in Charlestown and the construction of Nashua Street Park in Cambridge and Boston.

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